The Jaded Millennial View

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It’s been a year since PH took the reins of power. Yay. Hoorah. Life goes on.

I can’t honestly say I’m angry at PH for ‘failing’ us at this point – a little disappointed, perhaps, but to be fair, I voted them in not because I was certain they would win. All I wanted was a change in government. The rest would have to start from there.

I didn’t have any expectation, simply because I did not bother with any propaganda from any faction. I actually did not care what they were promising. All I needed to know was – everybody had banded together to bring about a healthy change of government, and the previous administration was simply in power for too long to continue being efficient.

End of story.

I went to sleep that historical night they were counting the ballots. I made a decision dictated by logic and did not get emotionally involved.

Frankly, the punishment of those who allegedly robbed our nation does not immediately improve the quality of my life. It was entertaining at first, but soon, it started getting draggy and ended up as just another on-going wayang. I leave their fate to the justice system. Nobody promised me a mesmerizing Game of Thrones ‘walk of shame’ anyway.

I find that many millennials have a very bleak idea of what the future of Malaysia holds. I’m not talking about ‘pampered snowflakes’. I’m talking about management level guys raking in five-figure salaries. We’ve been in the workforce for quite a while now.

Inilah pemimpin masa depan kita. Uninterested in the sheer mess left behind by the previous generation. There’s usually the migration contingency plan in case excrement hits the proverbial fan. Personal happiness matters more. The argument often comes down to ‘I do not want to have a family in this environment if I can afford it.’

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those of us who have no escape plan, nor the financial means to execute one. We have no choice but to make do and have to do what has to be done for our bread and butter. Politicians need to work extremely hard if they want to keep us here and encourage us to contribute to the nation willingly.

It’s not all gloom and doom though. It brought warm feelings to my heart to see people in my age group celebrating May 9 on social media – especially those who have just started families. They do want to continue living here and are willing to give the government time to fix things. While the trend is a breath of fresh air, I notice that we are mostly celebrating democracy. Not a political party.

Where politics are concerned, we’re amazing keyboard warriors. Yes, social media is extremely powerful. However, it’s a very lalang culture. Just because somebody says something online, does not mean they reflect it in real life. It should all be taken with a pinch of a salt, I’d like to believe.

Comments sections (local or international) are oftentimes a cesspool of hate, where even serious issues are made fun of. I’m not saying asserting your views is wrong, but how we do it needs to be addressed. We fail to understand each other on online platforms. They are cold, lack empathy and a genuine human connection. It is hard to learn from each other in such an environment. To accept each other for what we are.

Remember how Bersih brought us all together in the real world? How we felt connected to people around us regardless of their colour or creed. We need more of that. Less of the online bullshit.

Go, get to know each other lah. Organise meet-ups just for the sake of hanging out and sharing food, which is probably the only thing that unites us all in these troubled, troubled times. Minum teh and talk about the things that matter most to you in life. Share your dreams, help each other. Gosh, is it that hard?

We hammer Najib, but the same people that voted him out continue to thrive on our culture of preferential discounts, markups, kickbacks, and outright bribes. There is something inherently wrong here, and the blanket term ‘corruption’ alone does not do it justice. Pendidikan Moral needs a serious look.

Currently, I’m not a fan of any political leaders in office, nor those poised to take power. Many are guilty of playing the race and religion cards – albeit some before stepping into office or during the previous administration.

Pandering to race and religion to win votes is pathetic, counter-productive, and I firmly believe is one of the chief factors retarding our nation’s growth. We begin to fear each other – merely because of what is on the surface, as opposed to learning from each other. This needs to stop. It’s getting stale, and lame.

In a nutshell, the leaders we have right now, do not represent my values nor generation. They’re still the old guard. I wish that I had people to root for in their 30s gunning for power – that simply don’t give a damn about race and religion – and care more about the sustainability of planet earth – which top scientists around the world have agreed, is in its darkest hour.

We’ve created more pollution than we can handle, and more sustainable ways of living are desperately required if we are going to create a world worth living in for the next couple of generations.

We should be figuring out things like free education, and incentives for people who take up ‘menial’ jobs. It is a fallacy to say that there are insufficient jobs locally, we just need a better minimum wage so we can live with a little dignity, and be more independent.

While I understand that there are now millennials working within the current administration, they have yet to rise to the ‘upper management’. My hat off to them for the job so far. I can’t do what they do. However, I do hope they step up their game before the term’s end.

I would like to see young faces appearing in more pertinent headlines, and giving the old generation some hard-hitting, constructive competition. I believe seeing this will help instil a sense of belonging and responsibility among those of us who are not yet represented in mainstream politics, and can only be for our betterment as a nation.

A Man is a musician and freelance writer, in that order. 

The views expressed here are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of TTN.